‘Lego 2’ tops a sluggish group
The sequel and three other new films have no answer to lingering early-year doldrums.
Four new wide releases could not incentivize moviegoers to hit theaters this past weekend in the lowest post-Super Bowl box office in 10 years.
Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” opened in first place with $35 million, well below analyst projections of $50 million to $55 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
The $99-million postapocalyptic animation, which earned an 84% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is a sequel to 2014’s “The Lego Movie.” That film opened with $69 million before taking in $469 million globally.
This past weekend’s result seems to indicate that audiences are fatigued by the franchise after the spinoff “The Lego Ninjago Movie” (which took in a disappointing global haul of $123 million) failed to achieve the success of its predecessor “The Lego Batman Movie,” which grossed $312 million worldwide.
Paramount’s “What Men Want” debuted at No. 2 with $19 million, within range of analyst predictions of $18 million to $20 million.
A twist on 2000’s Mel Gibson-led “What Women Want,” the $20-million “What Men Want” stars Taraji P. Henson as an ambitious sports agent who is suddenly plagued with the ability to hear men’s thoughts. It earned a 48% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes but provides a nice comeback for Henson whose last picture, 2018’s “Proud Mary,” opened with a disappointing $9.9 million.
In third place, Lionsgate’s Liam Neeson-led drama “Cold Pursuit” premiered with $10.8 million, slightly below the action star’s most recent films “The Commuter” ($13.7 million last year) and “Run All Night ($11 million in 2015).
Neeson recently came under fire after admitting during the film’s press run to having considered engaging in a hate crime in retaliation for a friend’s rape 40 years ago. However, the controversy doesn’t seem to have affected the film’s box office, which slightly exceeded expectations and earned a 74% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
At No. 4, STX Entertainment’s “The Upside” remained one of the few bright spots in the new year, dropping only 17%. It added $7.2 million in its fifth weekend.
Rounding out the top five, Universal’s “Glass” added $6.4 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $98.5 million. The final new release of the week, Orion Pictures’ “The Prodigy,” came in at No. 6 with $6 million, just below predictions of $7 million to $9 million.
Sony’s “Miss Bala” dropped to No. 10 after just two weekends in theaters, adding $2.7 million.
ShortsTV and Magnolia Pictures’ “2019 Oscar-Nominated Short Films” earned $912,000 on 265 screens (a per-screen average of $3,442), the distributor’s widest and highest-grossing opening weekend in 14 years of releasing the shorts.